Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sydney FC lock in talented A-League trio
By Will Knight
He's made his Socceroos debut and settled his A-League future so far in December - now Terry Antonis plans to help lift Sydney FC from the bottom of the ladder.The 19-year-old announced on Friday he will remain at the club for a further two years alongside two of the Sky Blues' other brightest young stars Sebastian Ryall and Rhyan Grant.The talented trio are in their third season together at Sydney FC, with new coach Frank Farina regarding them as crucial to the club's long-term success."It's a great feeling," said attacking midfielder Antonis, who has played 28 games for the Sky Blues and won his first three caps for Australia in the East Asian Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong."I'm born and bred in Sydney so I wanted to stay. I want to win a title here."Before that can be seriously contemplated this season, Antonis will have to spark his side into action over a busy end to the month when they play three matches over the next 10 days.That difficult sequence starts against the Jets in Newcastle on Saturday followed by clashes against top-two teams Central Coast and Adelaide on New Year's Eve.Alessandro Del Piero is set to start against the Jets after struggling in recent weeks with a hamstring injury, while defender Pascal Bosschaart has been ruled out due to a calf strain picked up during last weekend's 2-0 derby loss to Western Sydney.Born and raised in Sydney, defender Ryall, 23, said he attracted interest from other clubs but was eager to stay on at the Sky Blues."I'm very happy - it'll take me to six years here," he said."I'd love to win more trophies. It shows the ambition of the club keeping the three of us."This is where my heart lies and I didn't want to go to another team."The 21-year-old Grant, who was a member of Sydney FC's debut National Youth League club, was relieved to have his future settled."I didn't want to play anywhere else and I'm happy the club wants me to stay as well," he said."I want to work hard to drag us back up the ladder."Farina was excited to lock in the key youngsters as he looks to build a championship-winning team."All three of the boys have done very well this year and they have impressed me since I arrived with their enthusiasm, commitment and ability," Farina said."These are the type of players you have to make sure you keep and develop."